Coleman Tents V.S. Ozark Trail Tents (REAL Pictures!)
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I’ve camped in lots of Coleman tents over the past few years, and even an Ozark Trail Cabin 10-Person tent, and here are my thoughts on both brands.
|Rain Test||10-30 minutes heavy rain||10 minutes light rain|
|Features||More features||Fewer features|
|Usage||More user-friendly||Less user-friendly|
|Quality||Better quality||Lower quality|
|Lifespan||~4-5 years||~1-2 years|
|Warranty||1 year||6 months|
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Here are the tents that I tested for this post:
Coleman Instant Tent Rain Test
After my rain test, I found that my Coleman Instant Tents, I have both the 10-Person and 4-Person versions, were able to stay dry for about 10 minutes under heavy rain.
After which, I noticed that this seam connecting the tent body to the bathtub flooring would start leaking.
Coleman Sundome Tent Rain Test
I also rain tested my Coleman Sundome Tents, and I have the regular 6-person version, the 6-Person Dark Room version, and also the Elite 6-Person version. All these tents were able to stay dry for about 30 to 35 minutes of heavy pouring rain.
After that, the same seam started leaking a little water into the tent:
Ozark Trail 10P Tent Rain Test
As for my Ozark Trail 10-Person Tent, it was able to stay dry only for about 10 minutes of mostly light rain and some moderate rainfall, not even heavy rain.
Both my Coleman and Ozark Trail Tents leaked through this inverted seam (all pictured above), because somehow, it usually doesn’t come seam taped.
In my experience, taped seams definitely keep water out much better than inverted seams. Here’s what a taped seam would look like:
Coleman Tents Waterproof Coating
I also noticed that the fabric of most of my Coleman Tents tend to stay dry in light to moderate rain, and would only start getting wet after 45 minutes to 1 hour of super heavy rainfall.
Ozark Trail Tents Waterproof Coating
However, my Ozark Trail Tent’s fabric started getting pretty soaked after just that 15 minutes of mostly light to moderate rain.
So, without tons of additional waterproofing, Ozark Trail tents are definitely not meant for rainy weather of any kind, even in light rain.
What’s the Waterproof Rating?
I suspect that’s because Coleman tents have fabrics that have a minimum waterproof rating of between 450-1000 millimeters, while Ozark Trail tents don’t have the same rating, and are meant to be used in only fair weather.
Door Size & Features
Coleman 10P Tent Doors
For a 10-person tent, I would expect the tent to have at least 2 doors, 1 on each opposite wall of the tent, and both my WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent and my Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent have 2 doors each.
In fact, one of these doors is even a hinged D-door, which makes going in and out of the tent that much easier. So, overall, very user-friendly.
Ozark Trail 10P Tent Doors
In contrast, my Ozark Trail 10-Person Tent has only 1 door at the front of the tent. And Ozark Trail doesn’t have the super cool hinged door feature that Coleman has.
Window Size & Ventilation
Ozark Trail Tent Windows
The number of windows and the size of the windows in Ozark Trail Tents is also lacking when compared to Coleman tents.
All these windows are pretty small, which limits ventilation on a hot day. And on top of that, all these windows need to be closed on a rainy day.
Coleman Instant 10P Tent Windows
On the other hand, my Coleman 10-Person Instant Tent has these humongous windows on every wall of the tent, which is great for hot day ventilation.
Coleman WeatherMaster Tent Windows
And while my WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent doesn’t have super big windows, 2 of the windows are these huge, angled windows for ventilation on rainy days instead.
Tent Set Up
When I was setting up my Coleman and Ozark Trail tents, I noticed that the pole sleeves of the Ozark Trail tent were super long and snaggy, while Coleman tents tend to have much shorter and much more snag-free pole sleeves.
Also, the poles of my Ozark Trail tent were not color-coded, they were just all black, while my WeatherMaster 10-Person Tent had a little bit of color-coding, like this red band for the middle wall pole.
Ozark Trail Tent Divider
For the inside of the tent, when I was setting up my Ozark Trail room divider, I realized that the divider doesn’t even have a zip down the middle, for access into the other room.
Coleman Tent Divider
My Coleman tents at least had a zip down the middle of the divider.
These aren’t like big glaring issues or anything, but you know, it’s the little things that count sometimes.
For quality, the materials used in both Coleman and Ozark Trail tents are about the same, like regular polyethylene flooring, and 68 to 75D polyester for the tent body and the rainfly.
Ozark Trail Tents Quality
But the stitching in my Ozark Trail tent is not as great, there were loose threads all over the tent, and fairly big holes where the guylines are connected to the main tent body.
My door zipper kept snagging from the outside every single time I opened the door:
And also, there was this sort of inconsistent mesh in 2 places around the tent.
Coleman Tents Quality
As for my Coleman Tents, the stitching is generally not too bad, there were less loose threads, and the holes in the stitching were smaller.
On top of that, the door zippers were much, much less snaggy. In fact, once you get to used to the rain cover outside the tent, you can actually zip the doors up without any snagging at all!
And out of my 14 Coleman tents, only 1 of my Coleman tents (the Montana 8P) came with this weird inconsistent mesh.
Lifespan of Ozark Trail Tents
I had this Ozark Trail Tent for a year and a bit before I noticed that the tent fabric started to degrade and get a little sticky.
Also, my steel wall poles were showing signs of rust even though I did my best to dry them before packing.
Lifespan of Coleman Tents
On the other hand, I’ve had some of my Coleman Tents for about 3 to 4 years now, and I never noticed any of the tent fabric becoming sticky. And the steel poles of my WeatherMaster tent are still holding up fine.
I actually even packed up one of my Coleman tents while it was still wet, and when I took it out a few months later, there was no mold or anything on it.
While both Coleman and Ozark Trail are highly inexpensive family camping tents, this is where Ozark Trail outshines Coleman. While I paid between $250 to $350 for both my 10-Person Coleman Tents, I paid only about $100 for the Ozark Trail 10-Person Cabin Tent, which is less than half the price of my Coleman tents.
In fact, even though this tent is one of the highest-rated and most popular Ozark Trail tents, it’s still plenty affordable at just over $100.
Where are Coleman and Ozark Trail Tents Made?
Ozark Trail is basically Walmart’s house brand, or private brand, and I think the reason Walmart and Coleman are able to keep their prices low is because all these tents are made in either China or Bangladesh.
But just bear in mind that Coleman tents are warrantied for 1 year, while Walmart provides only a 6-month warranty for their Ozark Trail Tents.
So, essentially, here’s the bottom line.
While Ozark Trail tents are one of the least expensive family camping tents on the market, the waterproofing isn’t the best, the features, quality and lifespan of these tents aren’t that great. And for Coleman tents, they’re a little pricier than Ozark Trail tents, but you get better waterproofing, better features, and a better quality tent all around.
Basically, you get what you pay for.
I typically prefer Coleman tents because I’ve been using Coleman products since I was a kid, and I’ve gotten great value for money out of my Coleman tents, but I could recommend Ozark Trail tents if you’re on a really tight budget, and if you’re camping only in perfect weather.
In fact, this 10-Person Ozark Trail Tent is actually perfectly functional in fair weather, or for backyard camping, it’s super spacious, I can’t even reach the top of the tent, the set up and pack up is pretty simple, and with a little bit of care, you can get quite a few uses out of this Ozark Trail tent.
For a more in-depth review of how this Ozark Trail Tent compares against not just Coleman, but Core Equipment, Outdoor Products, and Columbia, check out this blog post: I Bought & Tested the 6 BEST 10-Person Tents!
Or, check out an in-depth review of 14 different Coleman tents in this blog post: I Bought & Tested the 14 BEST Coleman Tents!
Or, check out the tents that I tested for this post: